GOP Comfortable with Authoritarians

While reading Wayne O’Leary’s piece, “A Tinge of Fascism” [6/15/17 TPP], I came across a statement I must strongly disagree with. Mr. O’Leary is one of my most favorite and eagerly looked-forward-to columnists, so i was quite surprised to read his view that “Trump and the right-wing parties presently disrupting Europe … have remained committed to a democratic framework.” What I see is pretty much the opposite of that.

All Republicans are now committed to massive disenfranchisement, because they realize their ideas are so loathsome that they could never win the popular vote fairly: i.e., if everyone gets to vote. Every Republican tries to severely restrict voting in every imaginable way from legislative obstacles to spurious claims of voter fraud. They may not have abandoned the rhetoric of democracy, but their actions are anything but democratic.

Once they manage to gerrymander and cheat their way into power, they try to shut off debate and rule by fiat. Trump despises the free press and an independent judiciary. Trump favors and gushes over the worst dictators and other abusers. [Philippine President] Duterte, [Egyptian President] el-Sisi, [Turkish President] Erdogan, [Russian President] Putin, [former Fox News CEO] Ailes … name a thug and you’ll find Trump heaping adoration on them while the press and media are “the enemies of the American people.” There has been no substantial objection to any of this from Republicans.

Perhaps Mr. O’Leary was making a subtler point about a differentiation between earlier fascism and what he called today’s “neo-fascism” but I fail to discern any meaningful distinction.

Mark Ivan
Calexico, Calif.

Calling All Republicans

An open letter to all Republicans: I know you think you’re better than the rest of us, because you’re Christians. I know you want to crush the poor, the wretched, and impoverished, and the desperate because they deserve it. I know you want to keep the status quo in place. But it’s past time to come to terms with Donald Trump.

D.T. has committed obstruction of justice. He’s probably committed treason. He’s obviously way-in over his head. He doesn’t learn from his mistakes, he’s incompetent. If you still support D.T. after all of this, you haven’t got a conscience. I’m appealing to the conscience of all Republicans, come together and remove Donald Trump.

William P. Lovelace
Elsberry, Mo.

Sacrosanct Preachers In Eye of Beholder

Quoting David Wright’s letter in the 7/1-15/17 TPP, “In Baptist protocol in particular, the utterances of the preacher are sacrosanct,” I had to laugh. My dad was a Southern Baptist deacon for 40 years and I can still remember him cussing the preacher. Dad was the finance chairman for our church. He would come home from meetings and say things like “that SOB says we should turn over those monies to him, and that just isn’t gonna fly … that money was for the roof “ (or Sunday school books, or church activities etc). And Dad always prevailed. As I recall, NOTHING the preacher said or did was regarded as infallible, and he had better toe the line if he didn’t want to be replaced.

I take no issue with the rest of Mr. Wright’s letter, but I wonder what the source was for his statement about Baptist protocol. I imagine it is still true today that if you want to hear and see some first class wrangling,  just attend a Baptist committee meeting.

By the way, my dad is turning 80 in November, he has been a Democrat all his life, and he says Donald Trump is “full of baloney.”

Gina Munz
Great Bend, Kansas

The Judgmentalists

Christianity is founded on the teachings of Christ, whose teachings are simple: Love thy neighbor (Mark 12:31); Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1-3)

The “Christian Right,” whom I call the “Judgmentalists,” follow no such teachings and should be called out for veering far from the teachings of Christ. These people attract their flock by judging everyone else—using the powerful emotion of hate for “others” as their attraction. Their hate is for abortions, gay marriage, pornography, the ascendant role of women and contraception. They push the lie of America as a Christian nation, with prayer in public schools; Christian displays in public places. They even espouse Creationism over Evolution, a nod to Biblical fables as reality.

Beginning in 2014, “Moscow began forging a new role for itself at the helm of the global Christian right,” Casey Michel wrote in Politico magazine [2/9/17].

“And Moscow’s grip at the tiller of a globally resurgent right has only tightened since. Not only have Russian banks funded groups like France’s National Front, but Moscow has hosted international conferences on everything from neo-Nazi networking to domestic secessionists attempting to rupture the US. Meanwhile, American fundamentalists bent on unwinding minority protections in the US have increasingly leaned on Russia for support—and for a model they’d bring to bear back home, from targeting LGBT communities to undoing abortion rights throughout the country.”

These people need to be seen for what they are: a threat to our country.

Lee Knohl
Evanston Ill.

Pro-Life But Anti-Women

It’ll never happen, of course. But how I wish the Pope would lead his church away from it’s blind adherence to centuries-old traditions, and listen to Sister Joan Chittister (“What It Really Means to be Pro-Life,” 7/1-15/17 TPP) who, with her beautiful words, makes a strong appeal for birth control:

“Life, you see, is not something that must simply be created; it is also something that must be sustained, or it erodes and collapses and goes to seed.”

It’s women, after all, who give life and nurture it — and therefore it is they who can best describe it without burdening the mind with useless dogma and incomprehensible theology.

How many popes have promoted unlimited births without once pausing to explain that life is more than filling empty space with flesh? All of them! Orders from above are clear: “Be fruitful and multiply” — and don’t ask questions.

Catholicism’s day is facing its twilight, and darkness is fast approaching. If it wishes to see a new day, women will have to be allowed a more active role in its administration.

Better yet, women popes could do a far superior job, in my opinion, than those of the male gender.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Democrats’ Bait and Switch

Republicans may not give a damn, but do Democrats? I’ve never heard Ben Carson, Mick Mulvaney, Tucker Carlson or Donald Trump call me, or anyone, “irredeemable.” What else do Democrats say about me when the cameras and microphones are off? 

Take it or leave it, at least I know what Trump thinks. Trump may come at me with coldhearted policies, but Democrats come at me with a Medicare-for-65 —> Medicare-for-all bait-and-switch; a free-speech-on-campus —> safe-spaces-on-campus bait-and-switch; a welcome-DREAMERS —> oh-and-bring-your-grandparents-too bait-and-switch; a civil-unions-somewhere —> gay-marriage-everywhere-and-you-better-bake-the-cake-for-them bait-and-switch.

If I have to be a lobster, throw me in the boiling water; don’t heat me up as I bask in the warmth.

Paul Conlin
Lake Zurich, Ill. 

Tlhe Perfect Word

On a recent network news show a Republican pollster asked Trump voters what one word they would use to describe Donald Trump after his first 150 days in office and the answers, along with the rest of the interview of the 20 supporters, confirmed the fact that all 20 participants still overwhelmingly supported Trump. The answers included such words as, “Honest, trustworthy and determined.” This pretty much confirmed what almost poll indicates which is that, while Trump’s popularity overall plunges with the general public; it remains unchanged among his supporters. The question got me thinking about what one word I would come up with and, with more time than these people had to do so, I think I came up with the one perfect word that will explain the whole fiasco we have going on and point out a logical solution. The word Solipsism.

Solipsism is defined as: “Absorption with one’s self without consideration for the needs and desires of others. A view that self is the only reality that can be known and verified.”

There you have it. The perfect explanation for Donald Trump’s irrational behavior, total disregard of truth and concern for others, including his own staff and supporters. His brain isn’t wired to view anything beyond self-absorption and truth is whatever serves his purpose at the moment. He doesn’t have a long-term plan to destroy the country and the earth, it is just collateral damage of his solipsism.

It is time to put aside partisanship, and whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to influence the election or not, long enough to face one simple fact. Be it a fair election or not, Donald Trump is not rational and thus dangerous as commander and chief of the United States and must be removed from office immediately. Stand up and do your constitutional duty, Congress and Senate!

Charles Leach
Lynchburg, Ohio

From The Progressive Populist, August 1, 2017


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